The plague of S30V and S35VN

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by dkb45, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Revolverrodger

    Revolverrodger KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2007
    S30v and s35vn are excellent. I have two fixed blades in these steels. They perform extremely well in the outdoors. I use my knives to carve, baton, feather stick not cut cardboard mind you...
    palonej likes this.
  2. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    I agree. My first two S30V were from Buck, it takes more patience and an initial coarse abrasive, but once you got it, the edge can be thin, medium, coarse or polished. I use sandpaper, stone or a Sharpmaker depending on my mood on S30v & S35V from Spyderco, Chris Reeve or Buck.
    unklfranco likes this.
  3. dkb45

    dkb45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    I've used and sharpened S30V pretty extensively (actually more than even M390 which I am far more fond of), and it does seem to be a very difficult to work steel, granted not like S110V which basically laughed at my DMT XC stone. A reprofile on M390 or Elmax will take me like 2 hours if it is very extreme, but I've had S30V take nearly 2 hours with a belt sander (of course dipping the blade and taking quick breaks to ensure no steel overheating). Taking an S30V blade down about 8° per side took me 6 hours one day because I had to work with with my DMT XC stone. Even taking Elmax back 10°+ didn't take nearly as long (one of those ZT factory edges...). S35VN isn't nearly as bad as S30V, though.
  4. 353

    353 Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    halden.doerge and Pilsner like this.
  5. shinyedges

    shinyedges Unfaltering Love & Undeviating Will Gold Member

    Jun 5, 2012
    2 hours to reprofile s30v with a BELT SANDER? I don't know if you realize this but you're on a knife forum where tens of thousands of other knife users congregate. Spewing baloney like it takes 2 hours to reprofile s30v wirh a belt sander is a sure way to be called out for exaggerating A LOT or just blatant lying.

    I've had nearly 10 knives in s30v and with a belt sander you could reprofile the edge back to the spine in 2 hours even with dipping to keep cool.

    Not sure who you're trying to fool.

    What grit are you trying to reprofile with? A leather belt loaded with green compound? Lol
  6. Armadew

    Armadew Reisloafer

    Nov 22, 2006
    S30V doesn't take me two hours on a sharpmaker...
  7. SW-EDC

    SW-EDC Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    I don't sharpen my own knives..have one guy here on BF I use. I wonder what he would say to 2 hours with a belt sander? Would there be any blade left after that?
    Again, I don't have a professional setup to sharpen blades. That just seems a bit extreme.
  8. dkb45

    dkb45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    I am not trying to pull a Gaston. I was using light pressure, as is recommended with a sander, and I had a lower grit belt (I think it was a 320 or so). The belt was definitely old, and likely needed to be tossed, but it was what I had with me. All I know is the knife in question was my very late ZT 0350, and my belt sander was a Harbor Freight 1x30. A full reprofile took me over an hour, I think I finally finished with the last belt a little past the 90 minute mark. The knife was very sharp afterwards, but I spent at least an hour on the lowest belt, grinding a bit, cleaning the belt with the rubber stick thing, dipping the blade, checking the edge to see if I hit the Apex yet, reapplying Sharpie a few dozen times because I couldn't believe how damned long it was taking.
  9. dkb45

    dkb45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    I feel I should add that aside from the 2 extremes I have had, S30V hasn't been quite the same nightmare other times. My Volli took a great edge, and is one of my absolute favorite knives despite having S30V, and the edge didn't take any more work than other super steels to put on. I'm wondering if that ZT wasn't a fluke and somehow overhardened or something. The other time S30V took forever was an example of an extreme reprofile, the factory edge on the knife was probably like 50° inclusive at the lowest, and I took it to like 30° inclusive. That with any wear resistant steel is gonna take time if you only have a worn DMT XC 6" stone to use.
  10. Matthew Gregory

    Matthew Gregory Chief Executive in charge of Entertainment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 12, 2005
    A dull belt doesn’t cut, it generates heat.

    320 grit isn’t a ‘lower grit.’

    Your little grinder, even with ‘light pressure’, is a surefire way to destroy the edge of a knife.

    As a rule, I try to stay out of threads like this, especially when they involve catastrophes like Gaston444, who as far as I can tell knows absolutely nothing about knives, and is hellbent on proving it every time he opens his mouth, but there’s already far too much misinformation on the internet involving BAD anecdotal evidence, which I’m afraid to say is what you’re giving.
    I’m sorry if this singles you out - it’s genuinely not my intention to alienate you or humiliate you, but I’m concerned that there might be folks out there that may believe that the correct course of action for sharpening is on a crummy Chinese belt grinder moving a Mach 5 with a wornout 320 grit belt, after reading it from someone they perceive as having more information than they do.

    I figured you’re looking to sharpen high wear resistance steels, especially those with considerable amount of vanadium carbide, use diamond stones. They’re the right tool for the job, won’t generate heat the way a belt grinder will, and will quickly sharpen even the most wear resistant of steels.

  11. Matthew Gregory

    Matthew Gregory Chief Executive in charge of Entertainment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 12, 2005's occurring to me that you likely have no idea who I am, or why I should even be listened to. That's understandable. The last couple years I've kind of found a niche applying fine hand finishes to nearly-impossible to hand finish steels. S30v and S35vn are NOT highly wear resistant examples, in my book.

    This is Crucible CPM4v at RC63:

    [​IMG] is this:


    These are CPM-S60v at RC60:


    You probably still have no idea who I am, but I guess I just hope that this might illustrate that I 'put my money where my mouth is', as they say. :)
  12. arty


    Oct 18, 2003
    It depends on what you are using the knives to cut. In the kitchen, I see a huge difference between VG10 and 440C, with VG10 blades holding an edge 3X longer. My kitchen knives go some time between sharpening, so it is hard to see a large advantage for S35V over the VG10. It is there, but small. My Tojiro kithen knives in VG10 are RC60 or so, while my S35V are either RC60 or 58-60 Warthers. When fishing, I needed to sharpen my VG10 Fallkniven fishing knife after every use, and cutting the heads off fish dulled them quickly. My knives in S35V had far less edge damage. It is possible that the Fallknivens needed some sharpening work before use, but I will find out next trip to the beach.
    Personally, I find edge geometry is a major factor. Heat treatment matters a great deal. S35V is an excellent steel if the edge geometry is right for intended use and it is at an appropriate hardness. It is easy to ruin any steel if the knifmaker botches this. You don't want to use a thin edged blade to split lobster tails, or one that has too hard steel. You can easily mess up S35V if the edge is way too fine.
  13. Bryan J Ball

    Bryan J Ball

    Nov 4, 2017
    I have no problem with S30V but I actually enjoy sharpening or stropping my knives anyway so I may be in the minority. Gives me an excuse to get them out and play with them.
  14. dkb45

    dkb45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    No offense taken. I do disagree with the belt sander destroying a knife, though. Aside from that one clear outlier, it gave me spectacular edges in very little time, many times I could reprofile 2 or 3 knives in a little over 30 minutes, and by knowing the limitations and risks (and how to mitigate said risks) I was able to get pretty uniform edges in very little time. That said, I do prefer a stone, especially on a guided system, to the sander, because while it is slower there is comparatively little risk of a muscle jerk butchering the knife.

    I maintain that there has to have been a perfect storm of wrong for my 350 to take as much as it did and have so little done to it, and I was likely erring a little too far on the side of caution with dipping and checking which led to the massively extended sharpening time. You will likely be glad to hear that since then I got a DMT Aligner XC to EEF that I use almost exclusively as my sharpener of choice, no more belt sander.
    AmosPaul likes this.
  15. Matthew Gregory

    Matthew Gregory Chief Executive in charge of Entertainment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 12, 2005
    I didn’t say a belt sander will destroy a knife. I USE a belt grinder - this is what I do! ;)

    The odds of you not overheating the edge with a dull 320 grit belt are minuscule, though, and that was the point I was trying to make. Even with sharp belts, I grind with a misting system to mitigate heat.

    Horsewright and danbot like this.
  16. microtech85


    Dec 1, 2015
    Sharpening time can vary a lot. It depends on the user's skill level and the tools being used. What takes one man 2 hours on a grinder can take another man a fraction of that. As i have become more proficient at sharpening, my amount of time spent has dramatically reduced. Betters techniques and best practices, fewer errors.
  17. microtech85


    Dec 1, 2015
    That said, i normally will have my s30v touched up on ceramics in a few minutes.
  18. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Well, there's that, too. I am annoyed to no end that my friends want me to edge their knives. I have spent time trying to show them how to sharpen, how to use their equipment, and proper technique. They just can't seem to get it. Even the guys that try.

    We now have a great compromise. I sharpen their knives and we work out something in barter. I do the same for a large food distributor as well, since they always need sharp knives for their product demos. They are happy and I am happy. I will sharpen more than a few knives for a couple of pounds of hand picked lump crab or thick cut apple wood smoked bacon.

    BTW, I bought one of those HF sanders for my SO so she could do broken glass mosaic work. I would believe it if he said it took two day on that POS to get what you wanted from it. It is too light weight, doesn't track well, and doesn't have a good place to put the knife to sharpen or reprofile. Overall, if you didn't really need a sander or were just an occasional user they may be fine. But for real use, it would be pretty challenging to get anything use out of it. The one I have hasn't been turned on in about 10 - 12 years.

  19. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    And that, my friend, is the point in a nutshell. :thumbsup:

    Coincidentally, I took delivery of a Benchmade Crooked River today, in CPM S30v. It came surprisingly sharp from the factory, and I have no apprehensions concerning easily maintaining the edge for some years to come.
    palonej likes this.
  20. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    I use mine all the time, have a variety of belts for it from 40-grit all the way to 15um polishing belts. The first thing I did was remove the table and the side-cover, push out the platen and curve the top of it allow a smoother transition, then i flipped the thing on it's back so i can actually use it, and now it is good-to-go :thumbsup: I can sharpen everything from lawn-mower blades to little stockman speys on that thing, and a reprofile takes very little time. As mentioned above, all you need is sharp belts and a careful hand. Mine runs plenty slow, with the belts tightened how I have them and using very little pressure, attending to any heat-build-up. I have read of guys putting a power-regulator on the line to change the speed.

    I also use it for sanding kydex, leather, wood, and other metal parts and been very pleased with the price-to-performance value. I have not tried it with broken glass, that sounds more like a problem of choosing the right belts for the job...

    Regarding light-weight, you can secure it in place, don't get why that would be a problem. Regarding no "good place to put the knife", you hold it in your hand and place it against the belt... o_O Do you mean you want an angle-guide of some kind? There is a company that sells that specifically for the HF 1x30 if you were interested, but I'd expect most folk to make their own if needed. *shrug*

    It is by no means a "pro" tool, but it gets the job done for something as simple as sharpening a knife.

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